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An Interview with Rebecca Benison

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A professional storyteller, Rebecca Benison’s weekdays are spent connecting with audiences on behalf of brands, while her nights and weekends are devoted to fiction. Her work has been published in the Workers Write! literary journal, Empyrean Literary Magazine, Newsday, the Long Island Herald, and a host of other publications. Harvest Cruise is her debut novel.

Who/what made you want to write? Was there a particular person, or particular writers/works/art forms that influenced you?

I don’t think it was any one thing that made me want to write. I remember enjoying doing writing assignments throughout school, and just doing creative activities in general. My tastes have changed over the years, but I’ve always enjoyed a good story.

What inspired you to start writing this book?

Harvest Cruise started as a short story entry for a writing contest. I initially wrote a paranormal thriller, and felt there was a bigger story to be told. It morphed over time to become the adventure thriller it is today.

Tell us the story of your book’s title. Was it easy to find, or did it take forever?

I don’t actually remember how the title came about. Often, the title comes to me first and I build a story around it. With this story, I think I started writing first and then came up with the title later on.

What other professions have you worked in? What’s something about you that your readers wouldn’t know?

I’m fortunate to have built a career around writing, in the field of content marketing. That includes writing blogs, case studies, eBooks, press releases, and articles. I’ve also done social media management and brand strategy.

Beyond that, probably the coolest thing I’ve done was my very brief stint as a background actor. I’d been laid off from a job I loved and decided to pursue a latent dream of becoming an actor. I looked up casting calls and did a few auditions, and I got a background role on an HBO mini-series. My author photo is actually the acting headshot I had taken at that time.

What books did you read (for research or comfort) throughout your writing process?

So many! I think that was around the time I was reading The Red Queen series by Victoria Aveyard, and a bunch of Philippa Gregory historical fiction. I was taking the train into work every day and would read during that 45-minute commute twice a day.

What is one thing you hope readers take away from reading your book? How do you envision your perfect reader?

I just want people to be caught up in the story. I don’t have a real message, though readers have been telling me they’ll be more careful or think twice while booking a vacation! I don’t want to scare people away from travel, to the contrary, I want to entertain them on their journey.

Are you a writer, too? Submit your manuscript to Atmosphere Press.

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Atmosphere Press is a selective hybrid publisher founded in 2015 on the principles of Honesty, Transparency, Professionalism, Kindness, and Making Your Book Awesome. Our books have won dozens of awards and sold tens of thousands of copies. If you’re interested in learning more, or seeking publication for your own work, please explore the links below.